Dame Helen Mirren may find herself in hot water following allegations that her winning of a Best Actress award was rigged after a judge changed his vote.
The awards, which were organized and presented by the Evening Standard, were called into question after a judge employed by the sponsor changed his vote after a secret ballot put all the nominees in a dead heat.
At the Best Actress awards ceremony at a London hotel, Helen Mirren won the accolade for her performance in The Audience. The Times in Britain reported that Henry Hitchings, one of the judges, changed his vote, thus enabling Mirren to win.
The editor of the Evening Standard, Sarah Sands, who was also a judge on the panel, denied that anything untoward had taken place. She claimed that Hitchings had changed his vote out of choice:
“In discussion about what was a dead heat, Henry and I decided that we would go for an option that would make Helen Mirren the winner. By doing a first and second vote we could balance the two factions with a third option, which is what happened,” she said.
The publication backed up its position. Speaking to the MailOnline a spokesperson said: “The transferable vote is a perfectly legitimate and long standing element of judging. One judge’s first choice in the category in question was a winner in a different category; therefore his second choice became his first vote.”
Nevertheless three judges, Charles Spencer, Georgina Brown and Susannah Clapp, were so outraged by their fellow judge’s change of heart that they walked out.
Helen Mirren has won an array of awards over the years, including an Oscar and a Bafta award. As such, Dame Mirren will most likely be unhappy about the allegations of rigging in the Best Actress awards.
After all, a woman with a reputation like hers, doesn’t need judges to rig their votes in order for her to win.
Here is a clip of Helen Mirren in The Audience: